Zach Dykstra, a 3-star offensive tackle out of Iowa, caught the eye of Miami's coaching staff, due to his incredible size (6'6", 290 lbs.) and ability.
We took the time to reach out to the class of 2017 UM commit, and he offered some insight into his recruiting process and outlook for the future.
Class of 2017 OT
Spirit Lake High School (Spirit Lake, IA)
Blain Bradley: Thanks for taking the time to interview with State Of The U. With the season right around the corner, what have you been doing to prepare? What is your training schedule like?
Zach Dykstra: My schedule is getting up at 5:30 every morning Monday through Friday to start getting ready to train at 6:30 with my team. I try to find time as much as possible to train on the weekends when I can.
BB: Coming from Iowa, what drew you to Miami? What's it like coming from the Midwest to a place like Coral Gables?
ZD: When I visited Miami I loved it instantly. I also prayed to make sure that [it] was going to be the right place for me. I remained confident that I wanted to go there so I called [offensive line] Coach [Stacy] Searels and told him. It's a dream come true for me.
BB: What kind of relationship have you built with the coaching staff? Are you close with coach Searels?
ZD: I feel like I am pretty close to Coach Searels, for where I'm at right now in the process. He's a great guy and a great coach. I like him a lot and I can't wait to be coached by him.
BB: Looking at next season, are there any games you're planning to attend? What do you think of UM's schedule?
ZD: Yes, I definitely hope to go on an official there at least once to watch a game. I think their schedule is tough, but they have the potential to win every one of those games. I do not see a team on there that they can't beat.
BB: What major factors played into your decision when you committed to Miami? Did you consider any other schools?
ZD: I considered other schools, but they pretty much flew out the window when Miami offered. I mean, who wouldn't want to play for The U? It's a dynasty that is on an upward slope again. Coaches Richt, Searels, and Baez had a huge impact on my decision. I enjoy being around all of them. I haven't had too much contact with the other coaches, but I'm sure I'll like all of them too.
BB: What kind of relationship have you built with the other class of 2017 recruits? Who would you say you're closest with?
ZD: I haven't had a lot of contact with my future teammates yet, but I look forward to hanging out with them at Paradise Camp in July. I've talked to a few a little bit, talking about the camp and stuff like that.
BB: Your class is definitely loaded with talent, so what kind of expectations do you have for the squad? Where do you see this Hurricanes team going in the next few years?
ZD: I feel like we have a lot of talent in my class and the 2016 class. I see us winning a national championship again soon and I expect nothing less. I believe we have that potential and will be dominating soon.
BB: Coach Richt personally donated money to help construct an indoor practice facility for the team. What kind of dedication does he bring to the table, and what kind of qualities does he have as a coach?
ZD: When I saw that I was amazed. There's not many coaches, college or NFL, that would do that. I just think that shows what kind of a person he really is. He's generous and selfless, and the kind of coach you want to play for.
BB: If you had to pick an offensive lineman to model your game after, who would it be? What about former, Hurricanes like Ereck Flowers?
ZD: Being an Iowan, for the past few years I have watched Brandon Scherff play for Iowa. He is a dominant force up front and I try to play like him. He puts people in the dirt and doesn't let them up until he hears the whistle. He finishes blocks through the play and competes every down.
BB: You're listed as a 3-star prospect, but given your size and work ethic, can you see yourself making a big impact at the next level? Is it out of reach to say that we'll see you as an all-conference, or all-American selection in the future?
ZD: I believe I can make an impact on the next level. I don't think there is any reason that I can't. I'm going to put my head down and work my butt off to be the best player I can be to honor my God. He has blessed my with size, so I am going to do everything I can to put that to good use. As for the all-conference or all-American selections, no I don't think that's out of reach, but I'm not too concerned about those. As long as I am the best I can be and help my team win, nothing else matters that much.